Do you remember your college years?
Do you wish there was more gospel presence or less during that time?
For many young adults, college is the first time out of their parent’s home; quite far from that home in some cases. During college, many will meet lifelong friends, future spouses, cement their priorities/world view and make Ramen Noodles one of the five major food groups. Sadly, during this pivotal time in their life, the gospel message will likely be a faint whisper or absent completely from the onslaught of views and messages they’re exposed to on campus.
That’s why pastors from all across Montana gathered in Butte recently to hear from veterans and experts in college ministry. Among them were:
- Keith Evans – Pastor Care Ministries leader for Resonate Church. Keith shared how college ministry may be the most strategic ministry available to local churches. In addition, Keith says, “You’re not too old for college ministry since many students are seeking the mentor figure (parent/grandparent) they never had growing up in a broken home.”
- Mark Arbaugh – Pastor at Park Street Baptist Church in Butte and Campus Pastor at Montana Tech. When asked how Mark gets on the campus he responded with, “I walk.” Mark went on to explain, “I have lunch on campus and build relationships with students. Don’t be the creepy religious weirdo. Students can tell if you’re genuinely there for them or not.”
- Adam Burt – Next Gen Director for MT Southern Baptists. Shedding some light on the culture Adam said, “Millennials and Gen Z are often categorized as lazy or unmotivated. But really they just lack vision. If you can cast a vision that the gospel meets needs and radically changes lives, then give them a chance to do it with community outreach, mission trips, and service. They will be some of your most passionate and active church members.”
In addition to these presenters, MTSBC Executive Director Barrett Duke provided two great resources for pastors and church members:
- The Defining Decade – Why your twenties matter-and how to make the most of them now. By Meg Jay, PhD
- College Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture. By Stephen Lutz
Both of these great resources are still available at no charge (one per church) by just contacting the MTSBC state office in Billings.
I hope you’ll join me in praying for our churches near Montana colleges as they strategize on how to best minister to college students during what may be the most pivotal time in their lives. If you attend one of those churches near a college campus, contact your pastor today to let him know you’re praying in that regard. Then click over to mtsbc.org/next-gen to find other resources and events for reaching college students and 20 somethings in your community.